Tribal gaming in Arizona hit record levels in the first quarter of 2023 to generate the highest level of contributions from the Arizona Department of Gaming (ADG) aggregated since 2004. Following the Arizona Tribal-State Gaming Compact anticipating tribes to allocate a revenue percentage to the public sector, the latest financial report shows that tribal gaming contributions have reached the $2 billion mark since the 2004 launch.

The State of Arizona uses compacts to collect a percentage of the tribal Class III gross gaming revenue and allocate the contributions to the Arizona Benefits Fund which finances charitable institutions like emergency services and wildlife conservation, as well as school programs and other public institutions.

20% Higher Tax Revenue in Q1 2023:

Arizona Benefits Fund reportedly announced that this institution collected $27,607,589 in tax revenue after the first quarter of the Fiscal Year 2023, which represents a 19.9% increase from the same period last year. The first quarter of the Fiscal Year 2023 also marks another step closer to the $2 billion threshold soon to be reached by tribal gaming’s contributions since 2004.  Max Hartgraves, ADG public information officer, reportedly said: “There’s a lot of benefits from tribal gaming. That $2 billion mark just further highlights it.”

Tribal gaming exercised a great performance despite some concerns that sports wagering would go online rather than to in-land casinos when sports betting became legal in Arizona. Now, it is apparent that tribal casinos are frequently preferred bettors’ destinations in the state. ADG director Jackie Johnson reportedly stated: “The state of tribal gaming in Arizona continues to impress, with a near 20% increase in contributions to the state when compared to quarter three of FY 2022. ”

$1.98 Billion in Contributions Since 2004:

Johnson added: ”Since 2004, tribal gaming has contributed over $1.98 billion to the state and its cities, towns, and counties. I look forward to seeing the quarter four release for FY 2023, which will undoubtedly see Arizona surpass a historic milestone of $2 billion in total tribal contributions.”

According to Cronkite News, the outstanding tribal casino performance will boost the school programs as well, as almost half of the contributions were awarded to the Instructional Improvement Fund supporting Arizona schools and delivering the tax money to the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) to fund school programs and teachers’ salaries.

Funding Educational Programs:

Rick Medina, Community Relations Manager for ADE, told Cronkite News that up to half of the Instructional Improvement Fund is used for teacher salaries and class size reduction, while the rest is spread across various programs for student performance improvements. “ADE is expecting $54 million from the Department of Gaming for the Instructional Improvement Fund in FY23,” Medina reportedly said.

Gambling Legalization Stimulates Growth:

Since sports wagering was legalized in Arizona in 2021, many tribes able to offer casino games, and sports betting started recording more significant handle figures than before legalization when gambling was limited to only 22 tribes in the state. Gaming compacts signed between the state and Arizona tribes have continued to ramp up tax revenues and bring them to record levels. Therefore Hartgraves from ADG reportedly said: ”It’s clear that we’ve seen growth in the gaming industry in Arizona since the amended compacts were passed and sports betting has been legalized.”